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March 31, 2007 / jadettman

A Crazy Idea?

I’ve been reading Wikinomics by Don Tapscott and Anthony D. Williams. The authors argue that the
growing collaboration of individuals on the internet will sweep the world with a change greater than the industrial revolution.

I don’t know that I entirely agree with their premise but I can see that groups of mass collaborators can create a big impact on a project (see: Wikipedia, Linux, or Sourceforge).

Couple this with some thoughts I had while listening to the latest membership drive on our NPR station the other day and it leads us to my crazy idea: content is no longer a closed system. The huge number of ‘pirates’ out there that freely make copyrighted material available have made copyright, not obsolete, but certainly of limited utility anymore. So, why not depend on the goodwill of the audience and give content away?

Now, I’m not saying that this is for everyone or that this is, in fact, a new idea but here is what I’m proposing: I’m going to write a game/supplement. Then I’m going to put it up on the web for free. Anyone that wants to will have the opportunity to read it. At the bottom of the
game’s webpage I’m going to put three links: the first one will be to a forum where people can discuss the game, the second will be a ‘thank you’ Paypal donation link, and the third will be a Fundable project link.

The idea of the first link seems obvious to me. People get to form a community around the project if they like the idea, can help build on the project’s foundation, and participate in a community.

The idea of the second link is that people can donate money to the author for the work put into the project if they like it and find it useful.

The idea of the third link is to make it possible for people to support the project without the anonymity of donating money to the author. Instead, they can give money to the project to fund the creation a physical copy of the game and to get their name in the book as a patron. The money from patrons would be used to pay artists and pay for a print run of the game.

Will it work? I’m interested enough to try it and find out.

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